Friday, 20 March 2009

Survival of the fittest? I best get to the gym!

In his latest blog entry "Survival of the fittest" Richard Bailey discusses the different types of placement students. The two types according to Richard are closed and open. He explains that the closed students "take a self-centred view of their placement year. 'It's all about me: my role, my aspirations, my portfolio.'" and that they are confident, assertive and sure to succeed in good times. The only problem is that we are living in volatile times, businesses are being asked to do more for less and having to be extremely adaptable in the process. Richard points out that closed students would be much better off if they "get their heads down and show some adaptability". What I think Richard is trying to say is that in these testing times, a student has got to be a whole number of things, not just a P.R student collecting pieces for their portfolio. They will gain much more cache if they roll their sleeves up and help the team wade through this financial quagmire. Richard goes on to say that a closed student will find it difficult to adapt, so it is the tutors job to make them see the bigger picture.

The other side of the coin is the open student, described by Richard as "much less confident of their abilities and have a more flexible view of their role in the placement organisation." these type of students are thriving because they are adaptable and can turn their hand to all sorts of different tasks, such as marketing, sales and that dreaded word admin. Richard comments that adaptability within an organization is "a good survival strategy" and that tutors have to work with open students to coax out their confidence, whilst helping them understand the relationship between their degree course and their role during their placement.

This all got me thinking about my future placement and also how I have acted whilst on my previous placements. My first placement was with a Leeds based consultancy, I worked one day a week and my responsibilities included photocopying and making the tea. Now I expected to be given very little responsibility but after five weeks working 9-6 and not getting paid, I made my excuses and left. I had taken the placement to get a feel for what it was like to work in a consultancy and also hoped that I would be able to get a piece for my portfolio, I thought this was not to much to ask after working very hard on organizing the massive back log of press cuttings. In my fifth week when I asked if I could have a go at writing a press release and was turned down, I decided to call it a day. If I would have stuck at it for a few more weeks would my portfolio now be bulging with pieces? I very much doubt it, but maybe if I would have been a little bit more "open" chances may have started to materialise.

Anyway I secured a two week placement at Trimedia UK in Roundhay, which although was again unpaid, I was determined to be paid in portfolio pieces. Two weeks later I had three superb pieces, I had not photocopied a single thing and I was tremendously upbeat about working in a consultancy. The staff were warm and welcoming, they gave me credible tasks which involved me using my initiative and allowed me to be creative.

Now although my placement year is approximately 16 months away, I have begun to think seriously about the type of placement I want and the skills that I will have to develop to succeed. I know however after my brief experience of working in P.R that I will have to be the open student that Richard talks about, I will have to develop my adaptability and master the art of SURVIVAL.

It is now 3.30pm on a warm Friday afternoon, I am retiring for the day. I hear the Oak beer garden is splendid this time of year.

I am still having problems with the Video of my interview with Lewis. I have formatted it and compressed it but still Youtube won't have it. I will work on getting up by Sunday.

Yesterday my press release about Superpowerless was published in the Pontefract and Castleford express. I will scan it in for your reading pleasure very soon.

Good afternoon


Room for one more?

Name: Charlotte Richardson

Hometown: Cambridge

Course: Public Relations

Question One: Who is your role model?

I really want to say Dangermouse, as he’s so cool and super! Think it might need to be a real person though. Real person… I’d say Richard Branson and not just for the facial hair. He’s a multi-billionaire who started off selling old vinyl’s from the boot of his car. Genius! I admire him as he came from nothing and did it all himself; which is what I want to do. Because even though I come from Cambridge “Daddy” doesn’t pay for everything.

Question Two: Why Leeds and Why P.R?

I can’t even remember why or how I got this obsession with Leeds, but I have it. So choosing Leeds was pretty simple, except for the random three months at UEA, but we’ll forget that. As for PR that’s simple, a computer told me to. I did one of them random tests and it came up with PR, Marine Biology and Accounting. Tried the accounting for three months didn’t get on so well with that and am now giving PR a go. So far so good, rather like this vocation, so don’t think I’ll be moving on to Marine Biology anytime soon.

Question Three: What would be your ideal profession apart from Public Relations be?

Easy or what….I want to be a ROCKSTAR!!!!! Who doesn’t? One slight problem though I can’t play an instrument. So next best thing be their PR.

Question 4: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Still travelling the world. Apparently we are estimated to live till we’re 125. Figured I’ve got ample time to make my millions owning my own PR Company and settle down. After I’ve finished my degree and got at least a 2:1, I plan to see the world. Start in Russia, down to Asia, then to Australia, stop off in South America, make my way to Africa, get some street food in India then back on home soil. This might take me a while as I plan to volunteer and do PR work in a few of these places. Hence, the still travelling in 5 years time.

This team just keeps agrowin'

Name: Will Jones

Hometown: West Kirby

Course: Public Relations

Hi, I’m Will Jones and I’m a first year student at Leeds Metropolitan University studying Public Relations. I’m really glad to be part of this blog, not only has it helped with my portfolio but it’s given me different areas of PR to pursue. I’m hoping that more and more students get involved. This is a good opportunity for everyone studying PR to get useful information on current events and also to discuss what they’ve achieved or learnt in the trade. Anyway, below is my profile for Leeds Met SU. Enjoy!

Question one: Who is your role model?

I’ve taken some time thinking about this question, it’s a hard one…I wasn’t slacking Adam, just pondering. To be honest there aren’t many successful people out there that I’d be proud to call a role model. If I ever came up with someone I’d probably be lying! So I’ve decided to keep this answer in the family, my role model would have to be my Dad. He’s a short balding man in his late 40’s to early 50’s, there is absolutely nothing special about him but he’s taught me a lot and I don’t really know where I’d be without him today. If I had even half of his wisdom I’d be happy. From the age of thirteen I’ve always had a job. He told me from a young age to rely on yourself and always try to earn your own way. Work hard and you’ll reap the benefits. My Dad’s a tireless a worker and rarely does he moan. He’ll think things through calmly and he’s almost always irritatingly right. Obviously I haven’t always lived up to what he’s said or done! But I know never to take anything for granted. The best advice I’ve ever had has been from my “old man”.

Question 2: Why Leeds and Why PR?

Originally I wanted to go to Newcastle to study Media, but after performing badly in my A levels I was rejected. Hopefully I won’t say this a lot but I’m very glad I failed! Leeds is a quality city, vibrant, exciting, unique..the list goes one! After getting into Leeds Met I began a degree in Media, it was interesting enough but I didn’t feel I could do anything with it when I eventually graduated. I dropped out of that course and then found myself doing PR. My best friend’s Dad is in PR so I’ve always known there’s a good living to make from it. After some thorough in depth reading of courses I decided that PR sounded like the most interesting and different. It’s a job filled with creativity and opportunities to see the world. The importance of PR in any organisation is crucial. It’s definitely underestimated by prospective students. Question three:

Question 3: What would your ideal profession apart from Public Relations be?

Being a full time well paid athlete wouldn’t be bad! Boxing, football, rugby; these are three sports that I’d love to be able to play professionally. But after coming to Leeds Met and witnessing the serious potential some sports members have I decided the couch is my best option. Question four: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?In five years from now I will have a degree in Public Relations and I’d be finished travelling the world. The money situation will be awful at this point but I’ll be probably very happy, full to the brim with life experience! Ideally I’d have found a country that I’d love to earn a living in. Hopefully one day I’ll be in that country working in PR either in house or as part of a consultancy. But as we all know from studying planning in lectures and seminars things don’t always go the way you want!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Good Afternoon,

And what a lovely morning it is. It seems the sun has put his very best hat on and is ready to come out to play. It does make it very hard to resist the urge of the first year student inside of me that is telling me "The Oak beer garden is splendid this time of year" but with portfolio hand in on the horizon I have assured him that there will be plenty of time for The Oak and it's splendid beer garden.

So the coverage for Superpowerless is coming on well, splendidly. H2B magazine and the Castleford and Pontefract Express are both running the story and I have a few other promising leads.

The first Adam Burns meets....interview is finished. Here it is.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

P.R team gets Superpowers

Good afternoon ladies and gents,

It has been a little while since our last outing in the blogosphere, since then Colin Jackson seems to have got off scot free, our team has two new additions and we have two new clients.

One of our most promising new clients is Superpowerless, a chiptune electro band who recently won a national competition. I have included the press release below and a picture of my alter ego "Slightly Receding Man"

We are also working with Ben Mcdougal to arrange an event which will keep the streets of student areas clean of the usual mess left after the "moving house weekend", this is still in the pipeline and not for a few months but I will keep you updated.

The two new additions to our team come in the form of Charlotte Richardson and Will Jones, they are both first year P.R students and have both promised me a profile to add to the blog, but being first years, of course I'm still waiting. Slackers!!!

Tomorrow we are meeting with S.U president Lewis Coakley for the first of a series of interviews with the Student Union execs, they will be hosted by myself, Adam Burns, and I am thinking my interview style will be a mixture between David Frost and Alan Partridge.


Leeds band scoops national award

Leeds based electro artist Superpowerless fought off competition from 200,000 entrants to win the MTV Vodaphone Soundbites competition .

Oliver Hindle’s track “Wasted my time” impressed the judging panel, which comprised of industry experts, and after being short listed to the final ten he was crowned winner in a ceremony held in London.

Oliver has won the chance to work with renowned producer and D.J Andy Chatterley as well as shooting a video with director Luc Janin, who has worked with The Fratellis, Stereophonics and Boy Kill Boy. The single and video will be launched on the 23rd of March and broadcast on MTV.

20 year old Oliver ,who was born and raised in Pontefract and is now in his first year studying Music Technology at Leeds Metroplitan University said:

“After winning the competetion things have gathered pace, and with the single and video released soon it doesn’t seem like slowing down. Although this is all fantastic the live shows are the most important thing to me and the ones we have had so far in Leeds have been amazing”

Superpowerless are the most exciting new breed of “Chiptune” or “Chipmusic” artists that are emerging around the country. Chiptune is software used to programme Gameboys so that they can be used to create music. With the very unique sound and exhilirating live shows.
Superpowerless are causing quite a stir in the Leeds music scene after selling out their first two gigs.

Bradford Based music Magazine described their latest gig as

“Electro dance music at its best, not only is it a sight for the eyes, the music they create is top class”

Along with the single and video launch Vodaphone have also commissioned a Viral Marketing campaign to be run by which will coincide with the launch on the 23rd. of March. With many musical success stories being written in Yorkshire over the past years, The Cribs, The Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs to name a few, Superpowerless are well on the road to writing another chapter in the musical heritage of Yorkshire.

The next Superpowerless gig is at Subculture on March 19th at 8.00pm.